Last month we reviewed Heavy Metal Thunder Gamebook by Cubus Games, and I’ve been keeping this Barcelona-based studio on my radar since then. I was so impressed by the gamebook I wanted to see what else these guys have in the works, and it looks like we are soon to be treated to another interactive gamebook.
Necklace of Skulls by Dave Morris is set to hit the iTunes and Google Play on November 13th, and just by looking at the amazing art work by Xavier Mula I want to play the game. Or should I say, read the story? Knowing Cubus Games previous releases, I dare say Necklace of Skulls will provide a hefty deal of reading, which immediately sets focus on a particular audience of thoughtful and patient folks.
The original Necklace of Skulls was first published as a paperback interactive gamebook back in 1994, and it was later released as a Kindle ebook in 2008. Now, the game comes to mobile devices, expanding the outreach, and it is wonderful because ‘readers’ like myself would have missed it altogether if it weren’t for Cubus Games mobile project.
Story-wise, I think of Mel Gibson’s Apocalypse when I read the premise of Necklace of Skulls. I also think about that documentary I watched about a Rockefeller perishing in the wilds of cannibals inhabited Amazon. It happens so that Maya are forever imprinted in our history and mentality as people with great knowledge and power. How else was it possible that when the darn ‘conquistadores’ landed, the entire tribe disappeared without a trace? How else is it possible that their calendar is unique in its deep and sacred knowledge of astronomy and time cycles back at that time? Even now scientists acknowledge they fail to understand where Maya derived that knowledge from.
So, when I read the game’s description, I feel that impatient nagging to get my eyes on the story and the beautiful art work, which also looks like a mix of Barcelona’s Gaudi style in architecture and Gaugain’s portraits of indigenous people.
You start the adventure searching for your twin brother, who was a part of a diplomatic mission to a big city. The entire city has been slaughtered, and only one person remained alive to tell the story of a Necklace of Skulls, a dark wizard who rules a mystical realm of the underworld. Deep in your heart you know your brother is still alive, so you set out on a dangerous journey to find the Necklace of Skulls and win your brother’s life back.
The game discards the element of luck that many of you hate when the outcome of a battle depends on dice rolling. Here, everything depends on how well you have been choosing your skills, and some reviewers of the previously released versions say battle skills are by far not the ones that get you through the game.
The Necklace of Skulls is set to hit the play store on November 13th, and will be priced at $2.99, with the following features under the cover:
- immense replay value, with a lot of alternative stories for you to explore
- a great deal of locations to explore and items to master, as well as scenarios to experience
- you will be able to choose your character from four people – warrior, huntress, sorceress or wayfarer
- animated illustrations
- engrossing soundtrack complete with sound effects
- a solid and engrossing plot with multiple save slots, so you will be able to play with up to three characters in three stories
I look forward to playing the game, and feel excited how ever more solid and full the gamebook niche becomes with each new entry that exceeds our expectations.